Rep. Panetta Introduces Legislation to Boost Trade, Support Central Washington Farmers

Press Release

Date: Nov. 3, 2022
Location: Salinas, California

Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) released the following statement after introducing the Supporting Market Access to Reinvigorate Trade (SMART) Act of 2022 alongside Reps. Dan Newhouse (R-WA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Tracey Mann (R-KS), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Ashley Hinson (R-IA), Cindy Axne (D-IA), and Kim Schrier (D-WA). This legislation would increase funding to successful U.S. Department of Agriculture export promotion programs, the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development Program (FMDP), and help American farmers maintain an edge in the increasingly competitive global marketplace.

"Many people involved in our country's agriculture depend on programs like the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program to reach new markets abroad and grow their businesses at home," said Rep. Panetta. "The bipartisan SMART Act would make significant investments in those programs to ensure that our nation's farmers and ranchers have access to the tools and resources that they need to compete in the global marketplace. Such federal support to secure the appropriate market access abroad would help create good-paying jobs, support local economies, and fortify our agriculture at home."

"Farmers and ranchers in Central Washington and across the country rely on programs like the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Program to help expand their customer base and market their products abroad," said Rep. Newhouse. "By investing further in these programs, we can help strengthen our nation's agriculture industry and create more good-paying jobs at home while enabling customers around the globe to enjoy Washington's high-quality, nutritious products."

"Opening and growing new markets for American-made products is critical to building our agricultural economy," said Rep. Costa. "Food is a global security issue, and we must do all we can to reverse disruptions in trade and grow new partnerships that help deliver American products around the world."

"Trade promotion is an essential function of a strong Farm Bill," said Rep. Mann. "The return on investment from private sector contributions, which accounted for roughly 75% of export promotion between 2013 and 2019, is unparalleled. The SMART Act will help agricultural trade associations as they work tirelessly to ensure that American producers remain competitive in the international marketplace."

"Iowa farmers feed and fuel the world, and the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Program continue to be a valuable tool to expand their access to new export markets," said Rep. Hinson. "Throughout their history, these programs have offered a phenomenal return on investment for American taxpayers, and continued support for these programs will be critical for American agriculture to continue its global leadership as foreign competitors ramp up investment in export market development. Increasing investment in these programs will enhance the competitiveness of Iowa agriculture in the global marketplace, improve our food security, and support our rural economy."

"Iowa farmers produce some of the highest quality products that feed and fuel the world," said Rep. Axne. "Through further investment in the successful Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Program, producers will have access to new markets that will enable them to continue to compete globally against foreign competitors. Iowa is the second largest exporter of agricultural goods and these programs directly benefit farmers and support rural communities across the state."

"The Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program have proven to help local farmers and growers in my district bring their top quality products, including apples, cherries, and wheat to customers around the world, unlocking economic opportunity on a global scale for local businesses of the 8th District," said Rep. Schrier. "I'm proud to be an original cosponsor of this legislation that increases funding for these programs to help the agriculture community facing the challenges of rising costs, supply chain issues, and low crop yields."